UWeconomics - Page 7

alumni series

Tamara NiesEn

4. What would be the best piece of advice you would give students?

Get to know your classmates and your professors. I learned (later on) that there are some pretty cool profs in Econ that want to see you succeed and are willing to help. Get to know your classmates- beyond your current inner circle. Oh, and get grades you will be proud of… don't close the door on future opportunities like grad school and you never know, the UW Econ Society might just interview you! When you finish school, get involved in your community and give back with your time and your talent.

5. What did you want to be "when you grew up"?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an orthodontist. I had braces twice, you would think that would deter me! I grew up in a family who worked in tech and sales and was determined to create my own path. Science at the most reputable University in the country seemed like the perfect fit to start my orthodontic career!

6. What made you fluctuate between the Science field to Economics?

I was fortunate to have summer jobs/internships at BlackBerry during the summer terms. BlackBerry and the amazing mentors I had introduced me to the business and tech world I wasn't able to see through my parents…and I LOVED IT. I was hooked and driven to find a program that would allow me to have a successful career in the corporate tech world. After dipping my toes in a couple of programs, I took a few economics courses and actually enjoyed it! I liked what I was learning and it made sense. I felt like I could take the content and apply it to the real world. Actually, it helped me better understand the real world!

7. How has family life affected your career?

Having a family has certainly given me perspective. I have always been a driven, aggressive (sometimes to a fault) person who is willing to bust her ass to climb the ladder and take on the next challenge. Having a husband, a baby (and another one on the way), and two dogs hasn’t changed that. In fact, it has given me more reason to fight for what I want and to make sure I am doing what I love. If I have to spend the better part of my life working, and be away from my family, it had better be something I enjoy. I have learned what true happiness is in my personal life, I cannot settle for anything less in my professional life; for me, that means doing something that makes a difference and doing something that I can be proud of.

Interviewer: Navnit Singh

Academic Director